If you spent your Monday sleeping in, you’re in luck. We have you covered for the final round of the British Open. So far a handful of players have turned in low scores and are off to strong starts, and the hardest hole on the golf course is flexing its muscles.
Here’s a recap of what happened this morning during the final round of the Open.
You can go low in the morning
Branden Grace started the final round of the Open 2-under but went out in 31. He birdied his sixth hole of the day on 10 to jump into a tie for 15th and four shots back of the lead before a bogey on 17 dropped him to 7-under for the tournament.
Grace was just one of several players taking advantage of benign conditions early. Amateur Oliver Schniederjans shot 31 on the front—with six birdies—before a birdie on 10 moved him to 10-under and in a tie for fifth.
But there’s more: Jamie Donaldson shot 31 on the front and Scott Arnold, Francesco Molinari and Ross Fisher all shot 32, and Andy Sullivan birdied the first four holes of the day (before a double-bogey derailed him on the fifth). Phil Mickelson is also 5-under after 14 on the day, 9-under for the Open.
How much rain is coming later?
Those players who turn in good rounds early might be better off than they think. The forecast calls for rain in the late afternoon, which is expected to continue for the rest of the day. Winds are expected to be between 20 and 25 mph as well.
So with the leaders dealing with the threat of treacherous weather, those who beat the rain—and the worst parts of the wind—might be in good position, guys like Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed, among others, who are all at 7-under and starting the day about an hour before the final group.
The Road Hole is even harder today
It’s the hardest hole on the course already, arguably the most difficult par-4 in the world and it’s going to be even more challenging today—at least that’s what early scores show.
Of the first 10 players to go through the 17th on Monday, eight bogeyed and two parred. Billy Horschel then carded a rare birdie, but that was followed by a double-bogey by David Howell and a triple-bogey from Donaldson in the next pairing. So far the early damage has been a combined 17-over from the first 20 players.
The scoring average for the week is 4.629, proving its reputation. And, with so many players bunched at the top of the leaderboard, it could be the difference today. The pin is located in the middle of the green for the final round, which is also it’s most narrow area.
There could be more golf this evening
After delays on Friday and Saturday, the Open will finish on Monday for the first time since 1988. There also might be bonus golf.
Three players begin the day tied for the lead at 12-under in amateur Paul Dunne, Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day, and 11 others start the day within three of the lead. Not to mention a handful of players at 8-under and 7-under.
The Open’s playoff format is a four-hole aggregate.
Today is Ivor Robson’s last at the Open
The legendary Robson, whose recognizable voice has announced tee times to British Open crowds for more than four decades, is retiring after this year’s tournament.
He started in 1975, and this is his 41st year.